Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Defining LDS Fiction

By Rebecca Talley

How do you define LDS fiction?

I define it as a book that adheres to LDS standards. The fact that the author is LDS does not make the book LDS. I think we need to be clear on that issue as we seek out which books to read and which stories to write.

An LDS book should not twist gospel principles nor should it leave the reader with the idea that the gospel isn't perfect. Certainly, our books shouldn't be preachy, but if we are writing for this market we should respect and adhere to the standards. Otherwise, we should write for a different market.

When I pick up a book advertised as LDS fiction, I have certain expectations. I do not expect graphic scenes, profane language, or the glorification of immoral or unrighteous behavior. I expect that if a character makes wrong choices, he/she will experience the negative consequences of those choices and that the author will not leave the reader with the idea that you can choose the wrong and still be happy. I expect an overall message from an LDS book to be uplifiting because that's the message of the gospel.

I would never tell anoyone what to write. But, I believe that if we want to write for the LDS market that implies that we uphold certain standards.

What do you think?


Brittany said...

I agree that there is confusion.

Read the reviews people have left on Deseretbook.com for the 'Twilight' series. Some are very angry that Bella and Edward "don't have LDS standards".

Christine Thackeray said...

I agree with the standards but I believe that true LDS fiction must have the church as an intricate part of the theme.

Otherwise it is a diservice to confine it to an LDS market and should be a general release. I worry that to many LDS writer's use the crutch of the small press to publish rather than pushing themselves into the big and scary world out there.

simplify heart and home said...

I believe that we ought to be writing (and reading) things that are 'virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy'. In this way we strengthen one another.

Years ago I taught at the MTC. Elder Ballard came and instructed us. He said "The adversary has had control of the media long enough. Now, it's our turn".

There is plenty of darkness out there. We ought to be seeking and sharing the light! In this way we may be 'peculiar' but ..... that is a good thing!

Sidne O'Reilly said...


I so agree. How I long for a good book/media rich in character. The visual media isn't even entertaining the vast majority of the time. It is really disapointing when talented LDS authors bend to the pressures of the world and use foul language and unseemly circumstances. Yes, there are difficult things out there, no question, but we need to be instructed even through our entertainment how to dicover our first purpose which I believe is to find out what the Lord is asking of us. Thanks for bringing this up.